Cogito Ergo Proxy simulwatch [RS] (29/11 - 21/12)

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
So we now have an idea of what these mysterious beings are actually meant to be the Proxies of. Given that the current humans' existence (or ability to clone/reproduce) being completely dependant somehow on the Proxies, and that the humans can be manipulated/programmed (at least for a time as the transient security chief role implies), can they even be regarded as human anymore? Do they still retain normal reproductive capability, like the mutants in the cave ruins settlement, which will be essential once Ergo eliminates the now supposedly unnecessary Proxies? Wouldn't make sense if not and if their dependence on the Proxies remained otherwise. It would therefore be perfectly reasonable for Raul's rebellion (even though he is not aware of the existential threat that is the elimination of the remaining Proxies by Ergo) to want to initiate his own version of human instrumentality, not involving all gelling into goo, to free humanity from this dependence. And given the winner/loser talk, did he launch the nuke at an already destroyed, as is implied, Mosk and if so is that simply because he wasn't aware it has already been nuked in the past? Or was his plan to nuke Vincent, a scary apparition of whom he seems to be haunted by now, given that was his destination as per the televised gameshow?

The new Re-l grows incredibly quickly so I assumed that she is a new clone, as opposed to the original as claimed, that Daedalus has created for his own sordid whims. Yet she retains knowledge of and fascination with Vincent so is this due to retained memory from the last clone (Re-i) or in fact the original's memories going back to Vincent & Re-l's hitherto forgotten prior relationship??

The Proxies had increasingly taken on the fascinatingly abstract mental attack schemes in these confrontations, which hark back to what the angels started doing in Eva. These were my favourite in the latter and I had really hoped for a lot more of exactly such introspective battles within the mind before the final angel battle. I have therefore been very happy with the ones Ergo Proxy has continued to deliver.

I too love how in such stories after all the journeying the protagonists find the final answers to be in the very place they first started. Didn't seem to take long for Romdo to become a complete mess though. The rampant destruction of the autorievs by crazed mobs was achingly depressing, especially through poor Pino's perspective, leaving the viewer constantly in fear for her safety. I also wondered about this "third" version of Vincent that seemed most like Ergo but for the missing mask, and was also teased in that appearance as Proxy 1 by Mr KorewaDARAAY???, and not to mention appeared to be the one that ended Amnesia in Mosk. Raul and Daedalus, though they seemed to be building up to some great final confrontations, seem more and more to be helpless and crazed cogs in the bigger machinery. But most importantly, will the finale be a two-part abstract journey of the mind??
 

D1tchd1gger

Soul Reaper
Episode 16
Funny and Re_l learns to lighten up, but apart from learning that Pino gained left-handedness from Vincent when he 'awakened' her it's yet another episode that stops any forward momentum!

Episode 17
Is Raul more pissed at Vincent because his baby died or that he stole Pino? Seems like the latter! Nuking the place were they might be at seems a little extreme though!

Episode 18
Here it is, the place with all the answers, except we're not going to give you any answers! Instead you're going to have to go back to where you started, after taking 15 episodes to get here! I remember being frustrated with this episode first time round and I still am, although
The proxy who destroyed the robot in the room of memories was odd, I could have at once sworn it both was and wasn't Vincent
Now that you mention it. I'm guessing it's Proxy One that was revealed in episode 15. He did look very similar to Ergo, IIRC.
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
Episode 22

What a doozy of an episode as we approach the climax. We finally find out/confirm that Vincent didn't just have his mind split in two but there are in fact 2 seperate entities running around. And it makes for a great cliffhanger going into the final episode.

The Raul stuff is so sad. He's hardly been likeable but to go out like that is so unbecoming of him reaching out for the drawing Pino did. After everything that happened he just wanted to see her again and wasn't able to. It also makes you feel real bad for Pino though maybe it's for the best she didn't have to sit there and watch him die.

Dedalus has fallen firmly into the realms of the absolute worst. He's dialed the creepy, the delusion, the self pitying and the incel right up to 11. I'm glad that everytime Monad-Re-l opens her mouth to him she spears him through the heart with a casual "Vincent"
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
Sorry for falling behind the simulwatch pace again, folks. I will catch back up, but just dropping in for a moment here.

Pino gained left-handedness from Vincent when he 'awakened' her
You think Vincent did that? Actually, the exact transmission method for the cogito virus is presently unknown.

He certainly had nothing to do with Iggy's infection in any case.

As for the decision on the part of the creators to have Pino become left-handed in the series, this is from an old post of mine in the FLCL simulwatch thread:
"FLCL is partly a study of the difference between left- and right-handed people. [In the on-disc director's commentary for episode 1, Kazuya] Tsurumaki claims to be jealous of lefties, because he reckons that everything seems to come easier to them because of what he sees as their carefree nature. (A very broad generalisation of character rather akin to blood type in Japan, or perhaps star sign in the West, I guess.)"

Is Raul more pissed at Vincent because his baby died or that he stole Pino? Seems like the latter!
Perhaps unexpectedly, it's definitely the latter. As viewers, we never got to see Raul and Pino in each other's company and so weren't able to see first-hand how much he must've cared for her or how fond she was of him. Certainly when Pino witnessed the closeness of the mother and child creatures in the cave a few episodes ago, she referred to the parent as the "papa".

It's very sad.
 

D1tchd1gger

Soul Reaper
You think Vincent did that?
Well she 'awoke' right as he ran past her. I think it was hinted at in episode 15 that that the autorievs and proxies were some sort of Plan B if the space ark didn't work.
Still not sure if proxies are some sort of natural phenomenon born of a dying Earth or man made. I would have thought more would have been known about them if they were man made though and Daedelus wouldn't need to do all that research.
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
I don't know if I'm just not in the mood but I am honestly over the constant fade to blacks, lack of connective tissue between scenes and episodes and the fact that proxies seemingly manifest directly in the mind every now and then?

On the one hand, I appreciate the need to expedite story presentation and world building but on the other, I feel like episode 20 didn't bring anything of value to the table, when all was said and done, for instance.

In the following episode, starting immediately inside Romdo after Vince has left is incomprehensible to me. Why not show the scene and show us his state of mind at the moment and then show us the scene of him going back to Monad. It's needlessly disorienting, even if temporary.

I'll try to wrap this up today. I want to know the whats and whys of the main mysteries.
 

Dai

Vampire Ninja
Episode 22
The imperfect god created an imperfect city. Vincent cast it aside, but as something created in his image it in turn casts everything aside, including him. There's an air of self-loathing about that whole cycle.

If the previous episode was Romdo's violent death throes, this one is more like its wheezing last breath. Raul's last moments were depressing; getting mortally wounded in the gut, not once, but twice has to count among the worst luck imaginable. He never met up with Pino again, but I wonder how that reunion would have gone if he had? The Pino he knew was the pre-cogito version, after all.

Meanwhile Re-l just can't seem to get at all the answers she's been looking for. As if having Real running around with her face wasn't confusing enough for her, the talking statues continue to give half answers even when they claim to be telling all.

So now it all comes down to two Vincents and two Re(a)ls for the final episode.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 22

This episode is much more like it to me, less abstract and more direct, though the remaining run time and all the pending questions means the pace really needed to pick up a bit towards the conclusion.

What does it take to kill a god? apparently more than that one special bullet to the arm.

Re-l Mayer meeting Re-i Mayer was a fun one, I wonder why the fake (or is it the real) one is carrying about that red yarn ball of fate? She called Re-i Monad as per the previous dead Proxy, but I guess it's not implausible that the creator is able to create more proxies, we can see that Re-i exists twice, so why can't Monad exist twice?

Daedalus needs nothing except his Re-l, and is quite happy to accept the whole place falling apart if he gets to have that. It must have hurt him when Re-l said she stopped Raul to save Vincent, not him. You'll always play second fiddle to events it seems Daedalus, and things don't often seem to go your way.

I'm still amazed that Pino has just casually walked through all the violence and managed to get home, do a bit of light drawing (actual creation not just perfect copies anymore!) and then seek Raul out. Raul too wanted to find her, but I agree with what @WMD said, when they last met they were both quite different. Raul was probably going to die anyway, but the way he went out made me wince.

I forgot to mention this a while ago, but did anyone else get the impression his entourage Kristeva is also infected with cogito? I thought it may be the case a few episodes back and meant to bring it up. Maybe she will go all Terminator and seek revenge?! :cool:

That cliff hanger ending though, can't believe there is only one episode left to go.

So now it all comes down to two Vincents and two Re(a)ls for the final episode.

I'm really intrigued as to how this will all go down in tomorrows episode.

I don't know if I'm just not in the mood but I am honestly over the constant fade to blacks, lack of connective tissue between scenes and episodes and the fact that proxies seemingly manifest directly in the mind every now and then?

I'll cover this a bit more on tomorrows episode I think, if you haven't seen it yet, at least episodes 21 onwards are really working towards the conclusion.
 
Last edited:

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
Can't believe I took this long to make the connection between this red-robed, monster-transforming Vincent and the FFVII red-robed, monster-transforming Vincent! The director here did character design for FFIX, so probably not just a coincidence?

Anyway. Ending spoilers and thoughts. Mostly rambles, really, because I'm still processing stuff in my head. Apologies in advance.

I forgot to mention how much I appreciated, in an earlier episode, the atypical portrayal and conclusion to Will B Good's episode, avoiding any contact and tragedy whatsoever before the crew even set foot there. It was a great conclusion.

Raul didn't deserve such a cruel ending, I'd say but that's the tragedy of it, I suppose. Being so close to Pino and still not seeing her was especially bad. Poor guy.

So, here we are, the ending of our simulwatch! As I mentioned earlier, some of the stylistic and directorial quirks were getting on my nerves but in the end and in all that really matters, this was great and had a great ending.

Humanity coming up with plans and failsafes only for it to fail in a disastrous manner is very like us, not in the sense that humanity fails with important stuff all the time but in the sense that it's also part of what makes us human, if that makes sense. There's enough space for both success and catastrophic failure in the human experience lol

Proxy One finally revealing himself took long enough but we did hear from him in the library episode. That humanity went ahead and gave the proxies full conscience couldn't possibly end well for them and I know it's a matter of philosophical and existential debate but as far as I'm concerned, it's quite clear cut: if an artificial lifeform is sentient and experiences existence as we do, then they're as valid as we are.

I'm reminded of the news headline I saw the other day about robots being able to reproduce and I can't help but feel deep existential dread. Granted, the ones mentioned in the article are not robots in the traditional sense of the world in that they were created from frog stem cells, but the base is there. We're growing ever closer to a future where sentient artifical beings can be created.

I appreciated that, even though the dome was supposed to represent ideal existence (in-universe, of course - it's quite clear to the viewer that's far from being the case) where people's needs could be taken care of, it was in the wasteland that our main trio found, among other things, happiness. I really enjoyed their relationship and Re-l putting it into words in the final episode felt good!

The ending shot with humanity descending from space was so cool and memorable as was Vince's newfound resolve to fight back for his right to exist and be happy.

I'm forgetting stuff but I'll be sure to read everyone's posts and reply if I have anything to add.

Great series that I'll want to come back to later on, now that I know how most of the pieces fall into place!

Edit:

Took some quick and dirty pictures of the dvd covers in the booklet that comes with the French edition, for your viewing delight (quick and dirty being the key here):

20211221_122010.jpg20211221_122024.jpg20211221_122034.jpg20211221_122044.jpg20211221_122054.jpg20211221_122104.jpg20211221_122113.jpg
 
Last edited:

WMD

Mad Scientist
Episode 23

What a finale. Everything falls into place (quite literally in the case of the dome). It was all a plan B. One that in the end wasnt even wanted. But our heroes struggle on into a new world determined to not be crushed by it.

I am fascinated by the idea of how will the new arrivals in Earth and its existing remnants of survivors coexist? Will they live seperately? Will they mix? Or is a new war eventually inevitable?

I love this show. The crazy and at times meta style storytelling is something I love. The way bits and pieces of information are sprinkled throughout the show and how it all comes together in the final episode is so satisfying. I remember there being discussion during an early episode about how we see Vincent in the water having seen the Proxy fly up into the air even though it seemed Vicnent was the Proxy and how did that make sense. Well there were 2 Ergos the whole time. That and the book store episode being the 2 big early clues for that truth.

I was surprised by how much I'd actually forgotten so I immensely enjoyed this rewatch with everyone! Was a lot of fun.
 
Last edited:

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 23

I watched this last night as I re-lly wanted to see how it ended!

First of all, the way this ended was really good and a nice conclusion to things.

This show is multi-layered in general and the ending isn't any different. This is definitely the kind of show that may take more than one watch to fully appreciate the details, but sore demo it wasn't so abstract as to be impossible to get the jist of things in just one viewing.

My understanding of what things meant in general is as follows:

The humans who returned created everything, including the Proxies, who created everything else we saw, so in a trickle down system, the humans are the gods to the proxies, who are gods to the pseudo-humans in turn.

There was a large part played on fate and design, the proxies were designed to cultivate some form of civilization and perhaps to help clear the planet up a bit ready for the return of the real humans later on. That is partly why the pseudo-humans were unable to re-produce, they were simply meant to exist and then die off (or more accurately be killed off) when the real humans came back.

Just before the humans returned, the proxies were designed to either fight each other to the death Highlander style, or they were designed to go up in smoke in sunlight if that failed for some reason.

In the end it seemed to come down to a few factors which broke things. One is the fact that humans are flawed, and by extension human creations are flawed. This meant the plans they made had flaws and didn't quite go as intended. Ergo Proxy was the joker or wild card that wasn't accounted for, which was created by Proxy One to effectively cause some havoc and throw a bit of a spanner in the works, and of course all this lead to Re-i and Pino, later even Kristeva, all doing their own things and not really following the plan that was laid out for them.

That is why Vincent decided to stay with Re-i and not go with Monad, he wanted to live and experience the world with Re-i, rather than giving in and flying off to burn with Monad, who seemed to be created just to handle the final destruction or removal of Proxy One.

As a side note, I am so glad that Pino lived on as well, and the new dynamic with the replacement entourage could have made for a fun episode to watch. I'd watch an episode 24 slice of life with the 4 of them in whatever scenario they find themselves in after the return of the humans.
 

Dai

Vampire Ninja
Episode 23
The religious imagery reaches its peak in the finale. After the bait-and-switch of the opening episodes that looked maybe a century or two in the future, by this point we're clearly in the realm of technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic. The tiers of contingency plans for mankind's survival come into focus and the reason for both Vincent's and Romdo's penchant for casting things aside becomes apparent: both were created to eventually be thrown away if the original humans survived long enough to return to Earth, and that trait wound up being endemic to their nature. It's testament to humanity's cruel ability to dehumanise the other that they built a suicide-inducing failsafe into the proxies, which by extention acted as a killswitch for the pseudo-humans that couldn't live without them. Based on that cold genocidal plan, war between the original humans and their creations seems inevitable. The final shot looks like Vincent is about to take that war to the creators at any moment.

The poor autoreivs turned out to be the bottom tier of humanity's plan for survival, the cogito 'virus' generating a human-like soul in a machine body if the pseudo-humans failed to adapt to life on Earth and the original humans perished out in space.

It's equally cruel that the 'successful' Monad clone succumbs to the suicide impulse, while it's the 'failed' Re-l who chooses to live on in that broken world. Pino survives, Kristeva joins their rag-tag little family, and Vincent finally has identity and purpose. It's curious how hopeful the ending feels, almost triumphant, despite the potentially crushing odds facing the survivors.

Shows like this and Witch Hunter Robin are why I miss Manglobe. Their work had such a distinct look and feel, and the anime landscape is poorer without them.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
After some complications I managed to join the holiday exodus away from sunny UK and here's hoping without contracting the virus in the process:
cogito virus.jpg
So I'd binged this beforehand and will do my usual of bouncing some thoughts off of others' posts. All in all, Ergo Proxy joins my favourites list and certainly one that I imagine will be enjoyable and just as fulfilling on repeat watches. In fact I'm actually jealous of those who simulwatched this time having already seen it previously!

We finally find out/confirm that Vincent didn't just have his mind split in two but there are in fact 2 seperate entities running around.
Yeah I did not see that coming, thought very much it was between his two Vincent & Ergo personas. So I'm reading it as there never having been a second Ergo persona and that was Proxy 1 talking all along from the bookstore onwards, with Vincent's Ergo manifestation purely being a physical defensive reactionary form. So was Proxy 1 physically along for the ride all along (hiding where?), or was he hijacking Vincent's body remotely from his throne room, which maybe could explain why Vincent's body was instinctively tearing up at emotional moments like first meeting Re-l/Monad and killing Amnesia?
The Raul stuff is so sad. He's hardly been likeable but to go out like that is so unbecoming of him reaching out for the drawing Pino did. After everything that happened he just wanted to see her again and wasn't able to. It also makes you feel real bad for Pino though maybe it's for the best she didn't have to sit there and watch him die.
These two's story was very sad indeed. It's certainly easy to sympathise with Raul's affection for his autoriev daughter and to some extent his teenager rebellion towards the powers that be. Though he came across cold and unfeeling in his rebellious actions, it's difficult to judge by the usual standards given that his emotions had been manipulated all along and with only a recent emotional emancipation he very much could be regarded as a teenager?!
Re-l Mayer meeting Re-i Mayer was a fun one, I wonder why the fake (or is it the real) one is carrying about that red yarn ball of fate?
Maybe to go link it to her fated Vincent heh. Again my reading on this here is that Re-l and Monad are the same, with the original being the stolen Proxy Monad (seen by us only in her Proxy form at the start), Re-l being the first clone made by the humans themselves after they stole the proxy (presumably to research how to create spare proxy-batteries for domes?) and the final Real Monad we see being the third clone. Thereby both clones retain the original's memories of Vincent from before the events of the anime.
I'm still amazed that Pino has just casually walked through all the violence and managed to get home, do a bit of light drawing (actual creation not just perfect copies anymore!)
Good point on it being an original creation this time, I missed that point on her evolution completely.
That humanity went ahead and gave the proxies full conscience couldn't possibly end well for them and I know it's a matter of philosophical and existential debate but as far as I'm concerned, it's quite clear cut: if an artificial lifeform is sentient and experiences existence as we do, then they're as valid as we are.
I wondered about this as it would be counterproductive to give a being with superpowers+the ability to create/procreate lifeforms, sentience by design. Especially if the primary plan was to return to take over a more habitable planet whilst expecting said sentient superbeing to not override it's programming to roll over and die. My take was that the Proxies maybe started off with limited and automated thought processing capacity, but themselves evolved gaining sentience leading to their current state of ennui. And thanks for sharing the artwork from your edition @João Gomes!
Ergo Proxy was the joker or wild card that wasn't accounted for, which was created by Proxy One to effectively cause some havoc and throw a bit of a spanner in the works
Yeah these two I wondered about as to whether Ergo was in fact created by Proxy One, as were other Proxies?? Or were all Proxies and domes and autorievs created by humans before they departed? Especially as the autorievs were also part of the fail-safe plans, hence not getting an original creation. Likewise Ergo Proxy's role as the agent of death to destroy all other Proxies, and hence domes & associated sentient lifeforms, implying the original humans created him as the fail-safe here.
The religious imagery reaches its peak in the finale. After the bait-and-switch of the opening episodes that looked maybe a century or two in the future, by this point we're clearly in the realm of technology so advanced as to be indistinguishable from magic.
That's always been my favourite Arthur C. Clarke quote and it's so spot on and humbling that despite all our progress we know so little or as Plato said about only knowing the fact that one knows nothing at all. I'd forgotten all about the religious imagery with the autoriev enlightenment prayer posture!
The poor autoreivs turned out to be the bottom tier of humanity's plan for survival, the cogito 'virus' generating a human-like soul in a machine body if the pseudo-humans failed to adapt to life on Earth
Perfectly summarised, as I was wondering what the exact purpose of the cogito infection of the autorievs was but this makes sense that it was as a further fail-safe to have a the "third" "proxy" human option.
Shows like this and Witch Hunter Robin are why I miss Manglobe. Their work had such a distinct look and feel, and the anime landscape is poorer without them.
Witch Hunter on my list to watch at some point, may get bumped up now after learning of this link. Was wondering which studio made Ergo Proxy but sad to hear they're no longer around.

I end with arguably everyone's favourite character in my favourite scene:
pinos-reading-a-book-end-of-discussion-not-enough-pino-41979707.png
 

Girls with Guns

Za Warudo
Dai said:
Shows like this and Witch Hunter Robin are why I miss Manglobe. Their work had such a distinct look and feel, and the anime landscape is poorer without them.

Witch Hunter on my list to watch at some point, may get bumped up now after learning of this link. Was wondering which studio made Ergo Proxy but sad to hear they're no longer around.

Did Someone Say Witch Hunter Robin? I am a big WHR fan, and I have the series on DVD, but I also picked up the two OST CDs for the series - and I was even lucky enough to find one of these to hang on the wall in my theater room:

aposters3.jpg
 
Last edited:

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
Witch Hunter Robin is one of those "old" animes that I would've loved to watch but never could get my hands on... Are we lighting the MVM signal or what?

Shukou Murase also directed that one and came up with the concept along with Sunrise, so the atmosphere should be familiar after having finished Ergo Proxy. OST by Taku Iwasaki only increases my desire to watch it.

... Ahoy me mateys.... Ahoy....

Edit: scratch that actually, found the Beez DVDs for like 13 eur - will order that eventually, even if it annoys me getting DVDs in this day and age
 
Last edited:

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Yeah these two I wondered about as to whether Ergo was in fact created by Proxy One, as were other Proxies?? Or were all Proxies and domes and autorievs created by humans before they departed? Especially as the autorievs were also part of the fail-safe plans, hence not getting an original creation. Likewise Ergo Proxy's role as the agent of death to destroy all other Proxies, and hence domes & associated sentient lifeforms, implying the original humans created him as the fail-safe here.

I think that Ergo Proxy was the only one not created by humans, Proxy One described Ergo Proxy as his shadow, and I think he was unbound by the same fate as the other Proxies which gave him the ability to act outside of the restrictions of fate or impetus.

Knowing why the other Proxies existed made the previous meetings of the other proxies interesting.

We had Senex and Kazkis who were effectively fighting a war with each other in the same dome by way of human clones and auto reivs.

The Doppelganger Proxy killed all all in his dome as they couldn't accept him.

The Cave Proxy was so far gone as to lose all intellect, and the caves fell to ruin.

MCQ Proxy was just all about the game show life.

Will B. Good was just doing his thing but it was all a facade/fake, what he created served no real purpose except to entertain.

Most of the Proxies and domes seemed to fail, in fact other than Romdeau, I don't think we saw a single properly functioning Dome, and even Romdeau was on the edge of disaster at the start even if they didn't realise it. The awakening spelt it's doom.

I end with arguably everyone's favourite character in my favourite scene:

So much this! Pino was a joy to watch, I really liked seeing her journey and how she interacted with the world and learnt things. On top of the rest of the story going on her character was a lot of fun, and a bit of happiness in the gloom.
 

D1tchd1gger

Soul Reaper
Episodes 19 & 20
Right Pino has the answers to the questions we've been asking in her head. Let's get back to Rondo so we can h...
173619aa-1c76-44a0-bf40-0568fe17cc3f_text.gif


We got to meet 2 more Proxies. 19 was like a Kon x Disney mash-up and said at the end "the pendant is important" and 20 was like "I said 'THE PENDANT IS IMPORTANT'", but
AtRl.gif


Episode 21
Rondo gone to s*** and still no answers, but more riddles. The pendant Vincent had all along was Monad's and the one he picked up was no. 1, but I thought that was Proxy One's who left it when he killed the memory bot, although it could he been Ergo's and left it there before wiping his memory and he was the one who killed the memory bot. And why is he killing the Regent?
The council say he is the Creator, so like all the other Proxies have molded their domes to their own way of saving their population (and most seemingly failing), this is how Ergo chose to save the humanity assigned to Rondo. He was seemingly also pretty successful even if they were probably no longer truly human having been grown and having their emotions blunted, so why give up his memories?
 
Last edited:
Top